Feminism: where do we go from here?

In the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with my female friends. One woman talked about how her mother couldn’t get a credit card without a man’s co-signature, a lawyer shared her admiration for the many (many) hurdles RBG had to overcome in law school. What feminism is, looks like, sounds like, and needs to accomplish in the coming years is multifaceted and complicated, but we have a torch that is our privilege to carry.

I’ve read a lot of books this year that have made me think about feminism post-Ginsburg, and I wanted to share them with you. The complete list is on my Bookshop page, which—in addition to Indiebound and/or buying straight from your favorite local bookstore—is an independent-bookstore-supporting alternative to Amazon.

You don’t have to be a woman to love the following books:

  • Parakeet  Marie-Helene Bertino: What does it mean to be a bride, and more importantly, what does it mean to be a bride who is pretty damn sure she doesn’t want to be a bride? Bertino offers answers in her uncanny second novel.
  • Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was A GirlJeannie Vanasco interrogates her own rapist in this groundbreaking memoir.
  • Luster Raven Leilani: Racial politics, care-taking, art making and suspect sexual choices are all explored in this high-wire debut.
  • Writers and Lovers Lily King: The place of women in high-dining and publishing is navigated with grace and sensitivity in King’s fifth book.
  • Milk Fed Melissa Broder: Hunger for food, sex, and spirituality are all tackled in the forthcoming novel from “So Sad Today”s Melissa Broder.
  • I Hold a Wolf by the Ears Laura van den Berg: The “grieving, divorced, hyperaware, searching, vulnerable, and unhinged” are given center stage in van den Berg’s searing collection about women on the verge.
  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers Jenn Shapland: This memoir, which just made the National Book Award’s longlist, sees Shapland gaining the courage to come out while she works on a thesis concerning McCullers’ queerness.
  • Love Me Back Merritt Tierce: One of my favorite backlist titles, this novel looks at how misogyny and economic and gender inequalities play into the trope of the “bad mother.”
  • Days of Distraction Alexandra Chang: An Asian American female in the Silicon Valley tech industry starts coming to terms with misogyny in her industry, while also asking some hard questions about her Caucasian boyfriend.
Women writers are some of the most innovative, funny and courageous artists working right now. If you love women like I do, why not throw some of these authors a book order? Most of these titles either came out in 2020 or are about to, and if you’ve been following my newsletters for a while, you’ll know that this is a very, very hard time to have a book out. (More on that next week with our guest author, TRUE LOVE‘s Sarah Gerard!)

What I’m currently reading:

I loved Nunez’s last novel, the National Book Award winning, The Friend. Her latest novel follows a narrator whose best friend has asked her to be something of an end-of-life doula for her in a rented, seaside house. While not the most uplifting read, I’m still comforted by Nunez’s emotional generosity and her humor, as well as by her ability to weave seemingly unrelated incidents into a coherent whole.

What about you? What are you reading? What kind of literature is getting you through these roller coaster times?

Positive reviews of author’s books on review sites like Amazon and Goodreads actually help independent bookstores because they bring books (especially those published by independent presses!) up in the rankings, which signals booksellers to keep them stocked on shelves.Thank you for the time and effort it takes to leave a nice review for my colleagues’!

Copyright © 2020 Courtney Maum, All rights reserved.